Free tech career training program for veterans, spouses coming to San Antonio

NPower Texas expanding to San Antonio with help from USAA

SAN ANTONIO – Paul Rodriguez served 14 years in the U.S. Army and was overwhelmed with what to do next when he transitioned out of the military.

“I’ve always been fascinated with IT, information technology, and computers,” he said.

Rodriguez found a free program called NPower Texas, offering tech job training, certification, and job placement.

“It was awesome, finding out that the program is completely free so that I (didn’t have) to worry about the financial aspect and just focus on learning and getting familiar with what I need to know to progress in my career goals,” Rodriguez said.

All NPower Texas students begin with a 16-week tech fundamentals course.

“(It) takes people from no IT experience to a digital career. And all of our students have an opportunity to earn up to five industry-recognized certifications,” said veteran and NPower Executive Director Jonathan Pride.

Pride said that after the fundamentals course, NPower offers a professional development program.

“Their resumes are rewritten. They do mock interviewing, they do speed networking and mentoring. They interview with employer partners who are looking for jobs that our students are trained to fill,” Pride explained.

“Once I completed the program, NPower was able to place me with a software company, which is where I’m currently employed. And I’m thankful for that opportunity because now it’s allowing me to grow my IT career,” Rodriguez said.

He said he is grateful the free program is also for military spouses like his wife.

“Since this program is moving here, I’m encouraging her to look into it,” he said.

Rodriguez went through the program in Dallas and got his tech job in San Antonio, where USAA has just granted the company money to expand to Military City, USA.

With that expansion comes the addition of non-military students, specifically young adults 18-26 from underserved communities.

“By us serving the most vulnerable in society, we’re enabling them to take a step into a career that they didn’t believe was possible,” Pride said.

He has seen transformations that result in up to 400% salary increases.

“People are making $16,000 or $17,000 a year, and that’s public assistance. Then coming out of our program, they’re making $60,000. It’s generational wealth that we’re adding to the economy,” Pride said.

As an emerging tech hub, a military city, and a growing community, San Antonio is the perfect place for them to launch on March 26.

Pride said classes are filling fast, so if you want to register for the upcoming courses, head to the NPower website.

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.

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